Importance of knowing Sadistic Personality Disorder
Have you noticed certain individuals display unusual behaviour,
emotions and thoughts which cannot be accepted socially?
This person may be a victim of one of many personality disorders. In
day-to-day life, we might meet individuals with Sadistic Personality
Disorder (SPD). If we know of this disorder, it will help us tackle such
individuals in a healthy manner. This disorder seems to be different
from other psychological disorders. Yet, it is timely and essential to
be discussed. First and foremost, letís figure out what Sadistic
Personality Disorder is.
SPD is a diagnosis involving sadism which is the pleasure received
resulting to the pain, cruelty, degradation, humiliation etc.
An individual who is suffering from SPD might show the symptoms/
behaviour of hostility, aggression, abrasiveness, cruelty, harshness,
deceitfulness, dominancy in relationships, intimidating and humiliating
others and violence which will help them to manipulate the feelings of
In most cases, SPD individuals are closed-minded and pay attention to
the opinions of the others in rare circumstances.
However, SPD does not always engage in the use of physical violence
yet, involve in psychological and emotional violence such as publicly
humiliating others. The violence can be either verbal or non-verbal and
can be mostly either towards humans or animals, which provides them the
pleasure by the sights and the sounds of the victimís agony.
Talking about the exact causes of SPD, some evidence proved that the
foremost cause is due to the upbringing of an individual yet, the
precise causes are still to be explored.
Unfavourable experiences during childhood or in early stages of
sexual development are believed to be one of the major contributing
factors in the development of a sadistic personality in an individual.
When children are exposed to extreme child abuse in early stages of
development they are assumed to be more prone to SPD.
The contribution of the biological factors has also been considered
as another cause thus far.
Inadequate information might to lead this area being explored. There
is a tendency that a child might get this disorder if single or both
parents are suffering from SPD.
Types of sadists
It can occur due to environmental factors too. If a child is growing
up in an environment where sadistic behavior of individuals is common
and can be seen daily he might start showing the symptoms of SPD.
According to research, this disorder can be seen in males more than in
For the easy understanding of the behavior of such individuals, it is
better to study the four types of sadists: explosive, tyrannical,
enforcing and spineless. An individual who is an Explosive sadist might
be unpredictably violent since he is disappointed and frustrated with
When they feel humiliated and hopeless, they lose control and seek
revenge while engaging in fearsome attacks on others, uncontrollable
rage, and tantrums, from others who are helpless for the mistreatment
Explosive sadists always release their emotional stress which they
are holding inside themselves directing to someone.
More cruel and more frightening is the Tyrannical sadist since this
individual might exhibit behaviour of brutalising others and forcing the
victims to be frightened which might help to have a sense of
satisfaction. Rather than releasing their stress levels and frustration,
they prefer to use violence to terrorise and intimidate others due to
the feelings of low self-esteem and insecurities that they hide from
others and pretending to be superior in front of them.
People who feel that they are in a position to control and punish
others who have broken rules, regulations and laws are known as
Enforcing sadists. This type of sadists can be seen among military
sergeants, teachers, deans of universities, university lecturers,
physicians, prison overseers, police officers etc. Especially,
individuals who are police officers or prison staff have a great freedom
to dominate, victimise and destroy others at will.
Deeply insecure and acting like cowards are Spineless sadists who use
their aggressive behaviour to control their inner feelings of
Their behaviour might help to be innocent while in real they act with
a false sense of confidence and self-assurance.
Is Sadistic Personality Disorder curable? Even though it takes a long
time, under different treatment techniques it can be cured. However,
distinguishing SPD from other personality disorder is rather difficult.
Once the disorder is identified, counselling and psychotherapy can be
helpful in reducing stress levels, anxiety, depression and behaviour
such as recklessness, social isolation, lack of assertiveness and temper
Participation in group therapy and self-help groups might help to
reduce socially undesirable behaviour. Certain medications can be
useful, yet the effects can be limited.